Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's Rudolph Time again.

If you had a panic when Christmas came around and you didn't have enough cards ready, why not join us over at Sarn's blog, Stamping for Pleasure, where every Rudolph day (25th of each month), we submit two, or more, Christmas cards for her challenge. That way you will have made a good start on your collection.
For my cards this month I used a new stamp that didn't manage to get inked up in time for Christmas. When I was in Birmingham with my son, back in September, I went into a newly opened haberdashery/ textile shop, looking for some buttons, and discovered a small selection of craft items. Among them was this lovely stamp by Heartfelt Creations. I loved the words on it, and the little 'Bethlehem' nestling inside the 'O' of 'Noel'. 

It turned out to be a bit bigger than I expected, so I custom cut the base cards, making sure they would just fit inside a standard Spanish envelope, which is just a little larger than the British one. And here are the cards I made.

I stamped the image onto white heavy paper, and added some colour with copic markers. I didn't care for the stark white background so I used ink dusters to add a little subtle colour to it. My instinct was to colour the flowers red which I did, and I added gold pearl to their centres. The small white berries are sparkly with gold-ice stickles, but that doesn't show well in the photos. I scanned the image into the computer and made a cutting file for the word NOEL. I cut it out using my Silhouette cameo machine and embossed each letter with a red/gold interference powder. I then had to decide whether to paste it over the green swirl that twines round the 'N', but in the end I used a craft knife to carefully cut along each side of it, and I was just able to slip the letter through the slots I made. I think it was worth it! I rough cut around the stamped image and found a piece of red paper in my snippets box to mount it on, and then layered it onto a white base card.

I thought it might be fun to try a different colour arrangement for the second one, so this time I used shades of yellow and peach on the flowers with yellow stickles for their centre, and I embossed the letters with a powder called Disco Black, which was one of my favourites back when I used to emboss everything! I found some green paper to back this one, and there we have it. A couple of cards that I am quite pleased with, and I think I shall be making a few more of these while the stamps etc are out.

I have never been very keen on the use of the word Noel, or Noelle as it is sometimes spelled, but this time I looked up its meaning online, and apparently it is an ancient word now taken to mean simply Christmas, or a Christmas carol. By a somewhat tortuous route, they traced it's origin through some French words to the Latin one meaning 'Day of birth', so I feel a bit happier about using it now I understand it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Blue, Blue Christmas

I am still doing well with the recycling of some of my Christmas cards, and today I used the image of two matching cards I received. With the vast array of cards available these days, it always surprises me when I get two the same, and this year one came from a friend in UK and the other from Spain! But I liked the image and thought it was one I could reuse. So I hunted through my dies to find a suitable one and cut this oval frame in gold mirri-card. I cut the image to fit just under it, and then hand-cut a very narrow navy mat. The base card also had a narrow navy mat and then an off-cut of powder blue card with a white core. I think I did this when I was trying out a new embossalicious folder, and I used a sanding block to reveal the white core. This seemed to fit best onto a white 15cm square card, so I just added a blue bow (rescued from a card some years ago), and gold dazzler to finish it.
For my second card I used a Nellie Snellen die set, cutting the fancy frame again with gold mirri-card, and the image with the matching plain interior die. The backing for this one is a small piece of navy vellum with gold stars on it, that I found at the bottom of my Christmas snippets box. Goodness knows where that came from. Vellum is not my favourite play-thing! (I discovered that the cosmic shimmer clear glue is excellent for sticking vellum, and doesn't really show through at all). I found a suitable strip of navy and gold sticky ribbon and used it to hold a message label at the base of the card. The sentiment is a very old Clarity stamp.

So that is two more cards for my collection, and as I have used several oddments of paper and card, I shall link this to Pixie's Snippets Playground, week 108.
I am also linking it to Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 160 which is to use 'Shades of Blue'.
Christmas Cards All year Round ; Where, for January, Anything Goes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Creating a winter scene

As I am determined to make better use of my received Christmas cards this year, I decided to CASE one that I liked. It was a front step-card, showing a winter scene on the back panel, and a big robin on a post box on the 'step'.
To make my winter scene I used a tiny SeeD's snowman stamp, and a tall fir tree from Stampscapes. Then I masked these off and over-stamped them with the winter village scene which is a very old PSX stamp. I used my copic markers to add some subtle colour. I scanned the completed image and saved it as a jpg.
I calculated the size of card needed to make the complete card, and drew it out in the software for my Silhouette cameo. I traced the top edge of my scene and welded that to the base card and cut it out. I had a couple of unsuccesful attempts. The first time I forgot to remove the two small lines between the outline, and the edge so it cut where I wanted a fold! I then found I had used too thin card, thinking it would cut better with my machine. But my son Ben brought me over a new cutting mat when he came at Christmas, and perhaps due to the complaints they have had about them losing their 'stickiness too quickly,' they have now  made them much stickier, so when I peeled my card off, it tore at one corner, and just curled up into a roll!
For attempt number three I used a heavier card which took a lot of persuading for my printer to accept to print the image, but I then did a double cut (i.e. I cut it twice before removing it from the machine) and this just about worked!
For the step I used a robin stamp from Chocolate Baroque, again coloured with copic markers, and hand cut it to include the whole front strip which I glued onto the front of the step, and finished off with a red band of thin card top and bottom and a greeting cut with my Britannia die. A little bit of stickles crystal ice added a sparkle to the scene, and the robin and holly.
And here is the finished card! It actually sparkles very well but you can't see it in the photo.
I had more or less achieved what I had set out to do, but it probably didn't justify all the work. I still had my original stamped and coloured scene, so I used this to make a more straightforward card. 
The shadows in the snow are coloured with a purple/grey pen so I chose some snippets of a dull purple paper from a SU set, and cut a frame. I then used a photo-corner punch to make slots to hold the image, though I found it hard to keep it flat so I did use a little glue as well. The tall tree overhung the frame, but I quite liked that, so I didn't trim it down. As part of my 'using up some ancient stash' campaign, I dug out a purple pearlescent base card, from a huge set I purchased from QVC at least twelve years ago. These all had some embossing on them, but I found one that just had some corners embossed, and the size matched my image and frame so I was able to use it. I again added glitter glue for sparkle, and a large snowflake cut with Marianne dies from another purple snippet and some white card.

I am entering this in Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 159, where we are asked to show some Winter weather. I doubt I will actually see any snow in our village, though there is some on top of the distant mountains, and it is still what I think of when folk talk about Winter.
I am also linking it to Craft a Scene challenge, where this month we are invited to chose out own theme, so although they did have a challenge for crafting a Winter scene a couple of months ago, I think this still fits the bill.
And the purple snippets used in the second card make it eligible for Pixie's Snippets Playground-Week 107.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Three Kings Return.

This lovely stained glass window depicting the three kings, came to me on a Christmas card this year, and I thought it deserved to be enjoyed again. So I cut it out and used it to make this card.
I started by printing the Word-art piece from a digital set, to the lower corner of an A4 sheet of cream card, and then used it to make a 15cm square base card. I edged it with gold peel-off borders and corners, mounted the window image on the left side and having used an ink duster to add a little dandelion memento ink patch, I glued on a large star cut from a snippet of gold mirri-card, using a memory box die.
I shall enter this card in Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 158, which this week, is to Upcycle or Re-purpose an item, or to use a freebie.
And also to Hazel's extra monthly challenge, which is always Anything  goes as long as it's Christmas.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Well it is good to be back after quite an absence. If you are wondering what I am back to, pop over to Julia's blog and read all about it.
You will be pleased to hear that this is a short post today as I have spent the morning at the eye hospital and have had so many drops in my eyes that I can't focus on anything. (I am going back at the end of April for lazer treatment so I am hoping for an improvement in my eyesight after that). Secondly I have very little to show. I have just about got rid of the flu that visited me over Christmas, but haven't felt up to doing much more than the date-sensitive card-making needed so far this year. 

So on my desk is the pile of cards I took down along with all my other decorations, after the Three Kings Fiesta in our village for Epiphany. Arwen is helping me to sort them out into piles - ones to 'salvage' bits from for reuse, some that will inspire me to CASE them later, and a few that will go to my friend who recycles them into new cards to sell for church funds next Christmas.
And that's about it for this time. Having seen horrific scenes of floods, angry seas, and ice plains on TV, I feel almost guilty to say we are enjoying beautiful sunny days, but right now it is too bright for me outside, so I will have stay in and finish sorting my cards for now. Stay safe everyone.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bouncing in with a Happy Birthday

Having just opened my blog I realise that I should have changed my header back to something different by now, but I guess it can wait for one more day.
Today is my grandson's tenth birthday. I do find cards difficult to make for this age when they don't want to be children but they are not quite grown up either. Ollie is a great little swimmer, (and dancer), but he is not into football etc so I wasn't sure where to start. However when I spoke to him on Skype and asked him what he had for Christmas, he said "A pogo stick" so I knew I had my starting pad! I googled 'pogo stick' and found this image which I printed off three times.
I coloured it and cut out the whole image first, and then the tree and bushes from the second one, and the boy from the third. I used distress ink and ink dusters to colour the background layer and the bushes etc, and ciao markers for the boy. I then used sticky pads to layer them all together.
I looked through my papers for a bright and cheerful background and found the yellow stripes with red stars, from a magazine I think, so I used this to cover a white base card. (I actually chose the paper first so I could colour the boy's shirt to match, although it doesn't look as though they do in my photo!). Then I sorted through my snippets for a mat for the image and found a small piece of red that looks as though it came from the same set as the yellow. I only had the one piece, but by removing the centre of the mat, I salvaged just enough to cut out the letters for the Happy Birthday using my Britannia alphabet dies.
Hopefully this will have reached Ollie in time for his birthday today. One of my sons had a pogo stick and they all had so much fun with it, though they do have an element of danger too. usually it was their mouths that suffered on the end of the stick when they fell off, so I hope his front teeth are safe!
By virtue of my red mat and letters, I shall pop over to Pixie's snippets playground to link this up.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Starting as I mean to go on!

Starting as I mean to go on. Well that's the idea anyway. All last year I kept thinking "I really must get back to scrapbooking", I was always 'last minute' with the birthday cards I needed, and Christmas cards were a panic in November.
So this year I intend to; 1.  Enter at least two Christmas card challenges every month, and 'batch make' them whenever they are suitable; 2. Make some birthday cards ahead of when they are needed so I always have a few in store; 3. Make time for other crafts, paper as well as other media.

Today I have gone for the other papercrafting and I have made two calendars. I like to have one in the kitchen for noting down appointments etc, and one here in my craft-room showing birthdays and other occasions that I will need a card for.

I recently bought a digi calendar kit from one of the scrapbook kit designers.

It has all the month names in several formats, as well as the dates arranged in columns, or blocks (in several languages, but English is enough for me!). There were also a set of 'distressed style' papers, and some overlays for adding flowers, leaves, swirls etc. So all I had to do was chose a style and layout, and then add photos of people and events throughout last year. 
Here I am showing four of the pages picked at random. Each month I chose a topic, and found between three and six photos around it. It was hard to chose just a few to include, but I couldn't use them all.

I printed them all onto A4 sheets of 160gm paper, and bound them with my Zutter, which I bought with such good intentions. Sadly it is very under-used, but at least it had a little outing today!
This calendar will be kept in my room where I can see it daily, and smile at the memories it contains.
Other months show Christmas, of course, our New Year's Eve celebration, visits from family members, and singing in our choir.

For the kitchen calendar I chose a different, more simple style. This time I went for the long skinny shape, and I used twelve photos of the sky. 
Followers of my Friday posts on my other blog will know that I can't resist taking photos of the sky, usually at sunrise or sunset, but sometimes in the day as well. Because we have a lot of cloudless days, we don't get that many nice sunsets, but when we do, they can be quite dramatic. It was very difficult choosing just twelve from my collection but here are the ones I used.
Aren't they wonderful!? They have made a lovely calendar and it is already hanging in my kitchen with January's appointments filled in. Next week we have the Three Kings fiesta in the village (Epiphany). Usually the town hall gives each house a programme of events with a basic calendar on the back showing all the 'red days' which are the Spanish public holidays. When I get that, I shall use a little stamp and a red ink pad to mark them all on my calendar to remind me on which days all the shops will be closed. Always useful to know!
I guess when the shops are overflowing with calendars this looks like a lot of unnecessary work, but we don't get many nice ones in our shops; The one I bought is made of such poor paper I am not sure it could be written on with a pen, and also it is nice to personalise them. So I am happy with my days work, and feel I have taken one small step towards my new crafting regime.